“Next year we’re going for gold and will learn how to beat the Americans!”
That was Goosnargh tennis ace Pam McGrath’s robust forecast for next year’s result at a top international tennis contest ... where she has just won both silver and bronze medals!
At almost 81 and a member of Team GB’s entry at the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Super Senior World Tennis Championships in Croatia, this super-gran tennis player from Goosnargh was pipped to gold in her foursome - all octogenarians - by the US team.
But Pam, who started to play tennis aged 10 and is now chairman of Goosnargh’s well-known tennis club, also came home from Croatia with a bronze medal won in the individual championships when she competed with her doubles partner, Mary Durrans from Huddersfield..
This is the second time that Pam has flown the flag for Great Britain at this prestigious event where more than a thousand top senior players in the world represent around 31 countries.
In the early rounds of the team event, Team GB overcame tough competitors from Sweden, France, Germany, New Zealand, Ukraine, Argentina and Australia but met the USA in the final where they were beaten 2-1 giving the Team GB members a silver medal each.
We play thoughtful, clever tennis, very tricky and not at all power tennisPam McGrath
They all agreed it was a great thrill to win the silver, commenting “We are the second best over 80’s team in the world - a lovely thought!”
A seasoned player on hard, clay, grass and indoor courts, Pam is now intent on taking on the singles contest in Dudley early next year plus the doubles with Mary and stresses “but I shall be practising hard!”
That was the form after Team GB arrived in the Croation town of Umag where the championships were held at the end of September and beginning of October.
”We arrived on the Friday before the start on the Monday so practised over the week-end,” Pam explained.
“I had been playing in several tournaments with Mary in order to be selected, competing at the British hard court championships in Bournemouth in May and June.
“We did well and were selected, but next year I will really have to fight for my place in the team as the 75’s and over are all up and coming!”
The Super Senior championships are played over two weeks, the first for the team events, the second for the individual championships.
Energy level are all down to competition adrenalin, Pam states, “and we play thoughtful, clever tennis, very tricky and not at all power tennis.
“It’s great fun, we all get on well and make many friends in all the countries.
“Last year we finished sixth out of eight countries, this year we were eighth out of nine so next year we go for gold and will learn how to beat the Americans!”